May 2011 - Pittsburgh Steelers Wiretap
Foote Rips Owners For Employee Layoffs
The Steelers aren't among the teams reducing costs by making employees take pay cuts and unpaid furloughs, but linebacker Larry Foote is upset with owners who are doing so during the lockout. "That's ridiculous. We all know through this lockout owners aren't losing money, they're making money," Foote told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "To lay people off to save money. I don't know who they're trying to fool. How the heck are they laying people off? I don't get that part. That ain't right right there. That's affecting people's lives; they're not making millions of dollars, many of them are going check to check." According to the Post-Gazette, Foote's anger came after reading the Lions were one of the teams taking cost-cutting measures. Foote, a former University of Michigan standout, lives near Detroit in the offseason. "It's the first time I actually got mad when I read that the other day," he told the Post-Gazette. "They're going too far. That's ridiculous now. The owners are starting to make themselves look like the big companies that move people outside the country. I'm not talking about the Rooneys, I know what they're cut from."
Steelers Doing Little During Lockout
The Steelers generally have not followed the practice of some other teams, which have gathered together for informal workouts during the lockout. There have been no organized gatherings by the defense, and safety Ryan Clark believes this long rest from football will benefit that unit. "The good thing for us," Clark said, "is there are no spring chickens on defense. This time's been good for healing of your bodies. The mental part? We know how to play football. We know how to run cover 3. That dog blitz will still be deadly. We'll be fine." There have been some informal and sporadic gatherings led by Ben Roethlisberger with his wide receivers and a few linemen at a local high school.
Sapp: Steelers 'Need To Leave Game'
If Steelers linebackers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley don't like the NFL's new rules, Warren Sapp believes it may be time for them to find a new job. "The players in this game now, we must take care of each other -- that's the biggest thing," said Sapp, a former defender and current NFL Network analyst. Sapp said that when he played for the Buccaneers and Raiders, players in the league: "took care of each other, and that's what this is all about -- taking care of the game, taking care of each other. And if James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley don't see this, then maybe they need to leave the game. Because the game's gonna be here a long time after you, and it's been here a long time before you. So either get on the train or get off."
Ike Taylor: Pittsburgh Is 'Like Home To Me'
Ike Taylor isn't sure when he'll sign his next NFL contract, but he admitted that Pittsburgh is "like home." The free-agent cornerback believes he would already have signed with a team if not for the labor lockout that postponed the start of free agency in early March. "It's just got to play its course," Taylor said. "I'm not really worrying about it. The NFL has said they’re going to take care of the (free-agent) contracts whenever they need to." After playing the final season of a four-year, $22.5 million deal, Taylor sounds as if he wants to return to the Steelers.
Harrison, Woodley Rip 'Steelers Rule'
The NFL's new proposal to punish teams for player's multiple flagrant hits that result in fines has been nicknamed by some in the league as the "Steelers Rule." The punishment will be financial, although league vice president Adolpho Birch said Tuesday he didn't rule out commissioner Roger Goodell applying further sanctions. Not surprisingly, some of the hardest hitters on Pittsburgh's defense took to social media to blast the league's new initiative. Steelers linebacker James Harrison expressed his displeasure on his Twitter account Tuesday. "I'm absolutely sure now after this last rule change that the people making the rules at the NFL are idiots," Harrison said. LaMarr Woodley also spoke out through his Twitter account. "Thoughts on "the steelers rule"??? lol im sorry that im not sorry we hit 2 hard," he wrote.
Roethlisberger Provided 'Perks' To PSP Officials
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger provided "perks" to Pennsylvania State Police officials by giving them seats in his private luxury suite at Heinz Field and appearing at their charity fundraisers. Those were some of the findings this month by an arbitrator who rejected Trooper Ed Joyner's appeal to return to his off-duty work for Roethlisberger following unproven allegations that Roethlisberger raped a woman last year in a Georgia bar. State Police Lt. Col. John Brown yanked Joyner's supplementary employment approval on April 19, 2010. Joyner filed a union grievance to get it back. During his Oct. 6 grievance hearing in Harrisburg, Joyner admitted that the scope of his moonlighting duties for Roethlisberger expanded after he began working for the Super Bowl star in 2005. Back then, Joyner told state police superiors that he expected to work no more than 10 hours weekly chauffeuring Roethlisberger to NFL games, collecting his fan mail and fielding telephone calls. However, Joyner's job grew to include "retrieving items from the hotel room if Roethlisberger needed something while playing in a celebrity golf tournament; tipping pilots, limousine drivers, etc., on trips; contacting stores to arrange for private shopping trips; detailing Roethlisberger's automobiles; cutting his grass."
Hines Ward Wins 'Dancing' Crown
Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward won the "Dancing with the Stars" championship on Tuesday night. The former Super Bowl MVP won the title, besting actresses Kirstie Alley and Chelsea Kane to become the season 12 champ. "You are the MVP of 'Dancing with the Stars' season 12," judge Carrie Ann Inaba said after Ward and professional partner Kym Johnson finished their last dance. "You learned how to lead the dancing, not only in the dance, but you led your partner out of injury. You dance with heart and it shows."
Polamalu: Players Fighting Big Business
Steelers safety Troy Polamalu doesn't know when the lockout will end, but he does believe the players are representing the everyday person in their battle against the NFL. "It's unfortunate right now. I think what the players are fighting for is something bigger," Polamalu said. "A lot of people think it's millionaires versus billionaires and that's the huge argument. The fact is its people fighting against big business. The big business argument is 'I got the money and I got the power therefore I can tell you what to do.' That's life everywhere. I think this is a time when the football players are standing up and saying, 'No, no, no, the people have the power.'"
Ike Taylor Plans To Test Market
If Ike Taylor returns to the Steelers, it will be because the team offered him a contract worth market value. The cornerback fully intends to test the open market whenever free agency begins, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Taylor may not be considered a top-tier defensive back, but there aren't many big names expected to hit the market aside from Nnamdi Asomugha and Antonio Cromartie.
Steelers Address Mendenhall Twitter Flap
Several team leaders, including defensive captain James Farrior, said running back Rashard Mendenhall made a mistake by voicing inflammatory opinions on Twitter about the death of Osama bin Laden. "He made some comments that he probably shouldn't have made at the sensitive time that it was," Farrior said. "You can voice your opinions, but you don't want to try to offend people that have strong feelings about that. You've got to think about everybody that's involved." The Steelers were quick to distance themselves from Mendenhall's comments, with president Art Rooney II saying in a prepared statement that it was "hard to even comprehend" what the team's first-round draft pick in 2008 meant. "You live and you learn, and I hope everybody accepts his apology," said cornerback Ike Taylor. "Some mistakes are bigger than others, and I say this is a huge mistake. It's just something you can't say. He'll learn from it. "As long as he doesn't keep making the same mistake we're all good with it."
Polamalu Earns Degree, Graduates From USC
Troy Polamalu majored in social sciences/history.
Ward's Dance Partner Taken Away On Stretcher
Hines Ward's partner on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" suffered a neck injury while practicing on Friday.
Polamalu Should Be Healed By Camp
Troy Polamalu has been undergoing treatment and rehabilitation this offseason.
Taylor Wants To Stick With Steelers
Ike Taylor wants to sign a long-term with the Steelers and they want him back.
Rooney II Will Participate In NFL Labor Talks
Pittsburgh's Art Rooney II will be joined by Carolina's Jerry Richardson, Cincinnati's Mike Brown and John Mara of the New York Giants.
Kordell Stewart Arrested For Traffic Charges
Kordell Stewart was charged with driving with a suspended license and speeding.
Falcons See Jones As Ward-Type Receiver
Atlanta expects Julio Jones to help in the running game with his blocking as well as through the air with his hands.
Mendenhall's Tweets Cost Him Endorsement Deal
Athletic apparel manufacturer Champion has dropped Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall after he questioned the celebrations of bin Laden's death.
Hines Ward Held At Gunpoint By Police In Mix-Up
LA police say Steelers receiver Hines Ward was briefly detained a gunpoint in a mix-up over a reported stolen car at about 1:30 am.
Mendenhall Clarifies bin Laden Tweets
Rashard Mendenhall caused a stir with a series of tweets made about the death of Osama bin Laden earlier this week.
Mendenhall's Tweets About bin Laden Draw Criticism
Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is being criticized for Twitter posts that question celebrations of the death of Osama bin Laden.